Phil Hellmuth Plays Controversial Hand on Hustler Casino Live

4 min read

Hustler Casino Live was back on our internet screens last night and, this week, Phil Hellmuth made a questionable move that got everyone in poker talking.

HCL Hellmuth
The latest episode of Hustler Casino Live featured some interesting hands, including a questionable fold by Phil Hellmuth. (Image: YouTube/Hustler Casino Live)

The $100/$200/$400 cash game at Hustler Casino in LA was always going to be good. With Hellmuth lining up alongside Hustler regulars and business tycoons such as DoorDash founder Stanley Tang, anything could happen.

The game certainly didn’t disappoint. Back in December, Alan Keating, aka Mister_Keating, stole the show when he scooped a $1.2 million pot. He was back on Monday and won some sizable pots, but it was Phil Hellmuth who stole the show this time around.

Hellmuth fold gets Twitter talking

Unfortunately for Mr Hellmuth, he became the talk of Twitter for all the wrong reasons. The self-proclaimed greatest poker player in the world made what many pros consider a fatal error with A♣ K♥. Despite having just 22 big blinds, Hellmuth didn’t want to get involved in a raised pot.

Although A-K can be one of the more troublesome poker hands, it’s also ranked among the best pre-flop holdings. Because of this, people often make aggressive moves with it, even in 3-bet pots. Hellmuth isn’t one of those people. As you can see from the video below, he pondered the pre-flop action and decided to fold.

The responses from people on Twitter tell you all you need to know about the move. Maybe it was the right thing to do. Maybe the poker odds weren’t on his side. There isn’t necessarily a right answer but, based on people’s reactions, the hand probably hasn’t helped Hellmuth’s reputation as a cash game player.

Indeed, he’d previously been called out by his peers for buying in short against a line-up of YouTubers. This time Hellmuth anted up on Hustler Casino Live with a full stack. However, even with more firepower in his arsenal, he wasn’t willing to risk it all with A♣ K♥.

Hustler Casino Live continues to entertain

The Hellmuth fold might have been the biggest talking point of the show, but it wasn’t the only one. There were multiple pots over $200,000, including one between Keating and venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya.

Taking place at the 5:18 mark (see video below), the hand started with Keating calling a raise from J.R. with J♠ 8♥. Palihapitiya 3-bets with 9♦ 7♦ and both J.R. and Keating call. A continuation bet by Palihapitiya on a 9♠ 7♠ J♥ flop triggers a betting war.

With J.R. out of the way, Palihapitiya and Keating bet to the river, at which point the former scoops the $234,000 pot with two-pair. That hand put a dent in Keating’s stack, but he was back at it 40 minutes later in a pot against Phil Hellmuth (skip to 6:05:56 in the video below).

With the board showing 10♥ 7♣  8♠ 10♦, Keating put Hellmuth to the test with 9♥ 8♥. The pot was $205,000 at this point, but Hellmuth opted to fold his Q♣ 9♠ rather than chase his draw. Many would consider that fold less problematic than the A-K hand, but it definitely got a wry smile out of Keating.

Hustler Casino Live is fast becoming the most popular high stakes cash game stream online. Not only are the line-ups entertaining, the production team notes all the interesting hands in the video’s description.

This makes it easy to skip through the action and determine who played well and who didn’t. On this occasion, according to pros like Max Silver, Hellmuth didn’t have his best ever session. However, he made for interesting viewing and will almost certainly be invited back to Hustler Casino Live.

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